News

Monday 25th January 2021

If you are visiting this web-site for the first time, a very warm welcome; and for those of you who are 'old hands' welcome back! I hope you will enjoy having a look around.

Newish on this page is an arrangement of The Servant Song in memory of a friend and member of my home church, Joy, who died in November and which was played as her body was taken out of church at the end of her funeral service. Joy was very fond of this song, which also has beautiful words. We felt we wanted to retain the hymn-like quality without it being too rigid and regimented, and think it works - we hope you do too! Scroll down towards the bottom of this page and it is the fifth track. We hope very much you also like our other arrangements of some of our favourite well-known worship songs! Simply click on a title and listen.

The news continues to be pretty grim, and still with much uncertainty over all that is going on; and if you are anything like me perhaps you feel the need to limit your exposure to it. There is a danger of becoming overwhelmed I feel. Apart from Covid we have had our first snowfalls of the year and the US has a new President - and thank goodness the day passed uneventfully. I thought Mr Biden spoke well and he has an enormous task ahead of him in his efforts to unite the country. I was particularly struck by his words, "We will lead not only by the power of our example but by the example of our power."

I hope that whatever your circumstances you are managing to keep your spirits up. Even with the amazing roll-out of vaccines ('cautiously optimistic' might be a good way of putting it...) it is all taking time, and things are still hard for many people - not only financially but psychologically - many find the winter months and dark evenings challenging in normal times. The good news is that the days are beginning to lengthen! I hope those of you who are reading this are not suffering too much.

My home church, St Peter's, along with Shoreline church (the community church where I play - see below for a link)) are both temporarily closing again - for how long nobody knows - but a form of online service for both churches goes out on Sundays. Yesterday the Churches Together in Stubbington put out a joint service to commemorate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. I am still not able to get in to hospital on a Wednesday for my Chaplaincy duties, and am missing it very much - but for Talking News we have been recording at home since March, with weekly recordings going out online (and, more recently, on memory sticks again).

John Daniels and I very much hope that our music may bring many of you comfort and strength at these challenging and difficult times. It is being played, effectively, as a bed for morning thoughts, readings and prayers for weekly online local radio Sunday services.

When we are able to be together I always value and enjoy playing as part of the worship group at Shoreline Church, a community church is Stubbington, which celebrated its 21st anniversary last year and moved to a new venue, the Crofton Hall at Stubbington Community Centre. More details at https://www.shorelinechristianchurch.com (type in your browser) where you can find links to the online church during this current crisis.

My music, and that with John, continues to touch many hearts - and is especially poignant at times of sadness and loss and for reconciliation purposes. Our music seems to have a capacity to bring people together, and this ties in with a comment from one of the vergers at Peterborough Cathedral a couple of years ago that meant a lot to me. The cathedral is used to holding more formal lunchtime concerts during the summer months, but he said that some of them can be a bit highbrow and described my music as being 'inclusive rather than exclusive' - appealing to a wide range of tastes. I took what he said very much to heart and would hope that my music always serves to draw people in rather than turn them away.

And it is always heartening, and humbling too, for both John and I, to receive and read your correspondence. Thank you so much. I would like to share one of the messages with you and have put it on the Reviews page. It is from a lady who has heard me in Norwich Cathedral, and I am grateful for her kind permission to reproduce it, anonymously.

On the Radio page are some interviews which hopefully give an insight into my life and music. For more details on Blue Is the Sky go to http://rsmithcompany.moonfruit.com/#/blue-is-the-sky/4590394637 (you will need to type it in your browser).

I am increasingly being asked where our music is available. Apart from this web-site's Online Shop, and a number of internet sites, our CDs are on sale in a number of Christian bookshops around the country. All are available through Amazon and/or to download via a number of internet sites including iTunes and CD Baby. Simply go to one of these sites and type the title and/or our names in the Search box.

My Jesus, My Saviour
Endless Hallelujah
I Will Offer up my Life
You Alone/Mercy Medley
The Servant Song

Happy listening!

Charles

Something Music Ltd